333sound

Geto Boys Week – Day 1: Pioneering Rap (and Car Culture) in Houston

TO CELEBRATE THE RECENT RELEASE OF OUR 33 1/3 ON  THE GETO BOYS, WE’RE PLEASED TO BRING YOU THE FIRST INSTALLMENT OF GETO BOYS WEEK BY AUTHOR ROLF POTTS!

Though the Geto Boys’ self-titled 1990 album featured songs that put a raw southern spin on West Coast gangsta rap, Houston’s hip-hop scene was originally influenced by East Coast groups like Run-DMC. In 1987, a Ghetto Boys song called “Car Freak” became one of the first locally produced rap singles to find an audience in Houston.

 

Simplistic and catchy, with a bouncing electro-funk beat, the song bears little resemblance to the hardcore sound that would eventually define the Geto Boys’ music (in part because the group would feature a completely different lineup of MCs by late 1988). Interestingly, however, the song’s car-cruising motif presaged the “slab culture” that became intrinsic to Houston’s next generation of hip-hop in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The 1985 song “McGregor Park,” a rare Houston rap single that predates the formation of the Ghetto Boys, also celebrates Houston’s car-cruising scene.

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